Nashville Boss on Hayden Panettiere's Departure: 'It's Just For Now'

Hayden Panettiere‘s imminent departure from Nashville is only temporary, executive producer/showrunner Dee Johnson confirms.

As we reported last week, Panettiere has gone on medical leave from the ABC drama to undergo treatment for postpartum depression. Her character, Juliette — who in an eerie parallel is also battling postpartum depression — will be last seen in the Nov. 18 episode. But she will be back.

“It’s not the entire season, it’s just for now,” Johnson tells Deadline, adding, “We’ve had to make adjustments, but it’s not uncommon for shows to have to make such accommodations when real life intervenes.”

Johnson, meanwhile, denies that Panettiere’s real-life struggles informed Juliette’s storyline. “We incorporated Hayden’s pregnancy into the storyline last season,” she notes, “but we knew Juliette would have issues with motherhood and had always planned for her to struggle with her demons afterwards, including postpartum depression.”

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  1. Jenn says:

    As long as she comes back. Love my Hayden/Juliette

  2. aph1976 says:

    I’m sure Hayden will be back on Nashville again but the show might be willing to give her as much time she needs to get better because they may not want her to have a setback.As for Juliette, i’m wondering if she might go missing for a bit and that causes worry among the other characters,

  3. I hope this is true and she does come back. I now only watch the show for her, and the show would be boring without her. Doubt I watch the shows she not in.

    • Carol Tolbert says:

      while she is an important part of the show and I want her to return there are other talented characters that can fill the blank spots while she is away. We never get enough time with the others because they cram so much talent into about 40 minutes of the show. This show should have always been 2 hours. Juliette has always had lots of time in the episodes.

    • murn says:

      I think it’s too bad when people only watch for a single character. And since Hayden has talked about how much she loves the show and her coworkers, why not watch so that she has a job to come back to?

  4. brandi says:

    Thoughts are with Hayden. PPD is very serious and I hope she can take her time and get better.

  5. Victor Field says:

    You’d think a show with a female creator, a female showrunner and a predominantly female writing staff might have considered dialling the whole thing back a bit once they knew about Hayden’s condition. Wishing Hayden all the very, very best and hoping Johnson, Khouri, Greenblatt et al take long hard looks at themselves.

    • Shira says:

      On what grounds exactly do you say they weren’t considerate on Hayden wasn’t supportive of the storyline?? But I assume judging and pointing fingers is easir.

    • rarefied says:

      Perhaps it was also helpful for her. For many people who have it, part of what’s so bad is that they have no support from friends or family or even doctors who don’t understand what’s going on.

    • Agreed. Hayden’s character became too centralized to every episode. I believe someone suffering from PPD becomes more introverted therefore it must have been difficult for Hayden to continue to be there.

  6. Cyndi says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Hayden during her difficult time. Very glad she’s getting help.
    I don’t for one second think Nashville writers used her personal life in the show. I don’t know why people ask them that silly question.

  7. ? says:

    Hayden loves this show and her character. She’ll be back when she’s feeling better, I have no doubt. Hope she doesn’t rush it though, she needs to make a full recovery.

  8. Jo-Ann says:

    praying for a quick recovery for Hayden. I hope she takes as much time as she needs to get healthy! Love her and the show!

  9. Gail says:

    The long winter break might allow the show to insert her briefly into already completed shows if she is up to it. There can’t be that many shows after November 18 before the break.

  10. Ram510 says:

    Well as long as she’s back for the series finale, cause let’s be honest this show ain’t getting a 5th season. But how weird that she’s playing such a role and going throught the same thing in real life. It must’ve been tough. I wonder if the writers and showrunners cleared it with her first out of respect

    • Why would it not be back for a 5th season. I do believe their ratings are doing well

      • Victor Field says:

        1 “Can’t Let Go” – 4.91m (7.54m with DVR)
        2 “Til the Pain Outwears the Shame” – 4.72m (6.97m with DVR)
        3 “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” – 4.36m (6.79m with DVR)
        4 “The Slender Threads That Bind Us Here” – 4.54m
        5 “Stop the World (And Let Me Off)” – 4.47m
        6 “Please Help Me, I’m Fallin'” – 4.18m

        That’s an interesting definition of “doing well” you have there.

    • Brenda says:

      Are you serious…no 5th season. This is one of the best shows on tv! Just what are you basing that response on? Everyone plays their characters so well. Can’t wait to see the wedding…they are so good together!

    • Brenda says:

      Wow, can’t believe you would think there wouldn’t be a 5th season. This is one of the best shows on tv. Everyone plays their characters so well! Can’t wait for the wedding…I’ve wanted Deacon and Rayna together for so long. Also, looking forward to the girls singing.

  11. sunflower says:

    I hope they use it on the show to send her for help, the PPD situation has gone on for too long now. I wish her all the best!

  12. Sheldon says:

    Kind of saw this coming. It was great to get rid of Jeff. Now Will and Layla need to leave since their story lines are going nowhere. Bring Sadie back!!!

  13. Hope the writing picks up and more good music. The relationship with Deacon and Rayna is coming across as very scripted and this has been my #1 show for 4 years. I know it can be better. I have 1st 3 seasons on dvd and no comparison! !

    • Cheryl says:

      I have season 1. I don’t do country music, but I love the music on this show. Wish there was more focus on the music. I miss the concerts. Especially Juliette’s concerts. Can’t wait to see what happens with Maddie’s record deal since her music is so different from Daphne’s.

  14. acurat says:

    I always wondered, if an actor has postpartum depression in real life and then acts it on a set, does that exacerbate it? I cannot image it helps it. Art imitating real life in this case cannot be good.

  15. Renee says:

    Love Hayden and her character, Juliette. Hope she is better and can come back soon.

  16. Reana says:

    I think she deserves to take a break; it be hard having a baby and working at the same time need time for yourself and family . Hayden I like her acting I see her in a good thriller movie or something.. Nashville good music show but I honestly think they should ease up on her character abit that juliette should have a little of happiness. I respect the makers of the show it is their story after all.

  17. G says:

    I hope she does come back… The same thing with Demi happened and she never came back. I hope she gets better. I really love her on the show. I used to be a major scarlett/avery shipper but juliette/avery has really grown on me and I hope they can eventually work out in the show! This show will deff be lacking without Juliette. So glad she’s getting better though. Thats not something you mess around with.

  18. Masters1313 says:

    With Nashville’s ratings with Season 3…… there just might be no Season 4!
    I do like the show but lately I would just rather hear the characters sing just to get away from all the heavy baggage each have and I not even a fan of country music per se.
    I have even thought while watching this season….. yes, it is time to end the series.

  19. When I first saw the headline that her character was taking a spill I honestly was hoping that meant a return of the cheerleader, Claire Bennet on Heroes Reborn. Now that I see why she’s taking a leave of absence I wish her nothing, but the best in her treatment towards a recovery from this. Sadly it’s something that for a long time was overlooked, but getting better recognition as well as treatment today. While I would love to see Claire Bear return to Heroes, I hope even more for her recovery, and return to the show she loves so much, Nashville.

  20. L says:

    The tagline is confusing because the show’s only on it’s fourth season. Be really nice if people did some research before posting something.

  21. Angie McAlpin says:

    I miss Juliet Barnes, she is the BEST PART ABC’s NASHVILLE,
    Many prayers to Hayden for her recovery, sweetheart your famous, so we don’t know what your going through, but PLEASE DONT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF. Being a momma is the HARDEST, yet MOST REWARDING JOB YOU WILL EVER HAVE THE PLEASURE OF HAVING. PRAYERS AND LOVE TO YOU,YOUR BABY,YOUR FAMILY. YOUR FANS DO UNDERSTAND!!!

  22. Teresa says:

    When will the show return?

  23. Roberta DuBois says:

    i love Hayden that girl can act..im from Canada and watch the shows on my computer this show is so full of suspense and drama.I have all my friends watching it .Keep up the good work love the show. Roberta

  24. Cherie says:

    Love Hayden/Juliet………also Rayna and Deakin have to end up together. As does Scarlet and Gunnar…..this from me in a little town in England. Love the show C Xx

  25. tayna says:

    Love this show.. hope she gets better I’m glad they are showing a very common feeling mothers feel after child birth it’s very unfortunate she is struggling with that.. I do hope she recovers as she ready.. sometimes you gotta take time for u.. So happy to finally see Deacon and Rayna tie not been waiting 5 seasons to see that love Nashville